Did you see Cheggers when he came to Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds?
PUBLISHED: 16:57 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:57 13 December 2017
This week's sad death of television presenter Keith Chegwin will have brought back the memories for hundreds of fans who saw him during a visit to Ipswich with Swap Shop in 1981.
The programme’s title was taken from a segment every week that saw Cheggers – as he was known on the show – go on the road and visit cities, towns and villages across the country.
He encouraged youngsters to bring along toys, games, or even clothes that they did not want and to swap them with others who might have exactly what they were looking for.
In 1981 the swap shop came to Ipswich Corn Exchange where as well as swapping toys youngsters were also brought on to the stage to take part in some comic games and competitions.
The television cameras switched from Noel Edmonds in the London studio to Cheggers at regular points during the Saturday morning show.
Were you in the audience at the Corn Exchange? Are you one of the youngsters he appeared to be encouraging to eat a packet of crisps as fast as possible? – that’s just the kind of stunt the show got youngsters to do!
The youngsters who took part in the show in Ipswich will all now be in their mid to late 40s – a sobering thought for those who remember the earliest Saturday morning TV shows!
It might not have been as anarchic as the legendary Tiswas on ITV – but more youngsters tuned into Swap Shop, leaving Tiswas for the student audience.
Keith Chegwin was back in Suffolk 14 years later when he was part of the Big Breakfast team that visited Bury St Edmunds.
He was essentially doing the same kind of audience-participation entertainment, and was still a great favourite with the younger generation.
His death was announced this week after a long battle with the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
The announcement led to an avalanche of tributes from colleagues in broadcasting – and from members of the public who had met him during one of his many shows where he worked with “ordinary people.”
TV presenter John Craven, who appeared on Swap Shop with Chegwin, said in a statement to the Press Association: “I never saw Keith without a smile. He was always bubbly, positive, full of fun.”